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Jan 9, 2019

Darkness falls across the land, and it's the right time for Michael Jackson's "Thriller."


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Kirk picks apart Rod Temperton's dance floor classic in all its groovy, corny, sound effect-y glory.

Band/Artist: Michael Jackson

Album: Thriller, 1982

Composed by: Rod Temperton, produced by Quincy Jones

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify



It’s been a couple months since I produced this episode, and just a few days since I watched the first part of “Leaving Neverland,” a devastating new HBO documentary in which two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, detail their alleged childhood sexual abuse at the hands of Michael Jackson. It’s an intense and difficult documentary to watch, but I recommend that everyone listening to this episode do so. Jackson’s estate denies it all, but watching people on camera relaying such painful memories, in such excruciating detail, is both wrenching and convincing.

It’s impossible to separate an amazing song like “Thriller” from the man who sang it. I still think Thriller is a great song and admire the many people involved in making it, but hearing Robson and Safechuck’s accounts, on top of the similar stories I and the culture at large brushed aside or shrugged our shoulders at when they first surfaced many years ago, has certainly changed the way I hear Jackson’s voice. I’m leaving this episode as is, but I wanted to add this note, as well as to link to this New York Times editorial on Jackson’s legacy by Wesley Morris, which says so much, so well.